Posts from 01st Apr 2005 to 30th Apr 2005.
It's so close, yet it seems so far. I know how much effort there is left to put into my degree. I know how much excitement and new experience there is waiting in my job, my flat and my real world life after my degree ends in June. More importantly, a summer with a most wonderful girlfriend. You see my problem?
So much is sorted for the end of Uni. When there's so much at the end of the tunnel, when it's an arm reach away, how do I motivate myself for the tedious and repetative next few weeks. The end of my academic education career. It's so exciting, I can't wait to embrase the day it's all over. There shall be much rejoycing and celebrating. And Laura will get the biggest kiss of her life.
But all that is 6 weeks away. Six weeks of dull work in which I know I need to make the most of Uni life. How can a student settle down to his or her finals knowing that they're in the last weeks of this lifestyle?
Anyway, I didn't intend to post about that. Seems my fingers just typed that. The stress is starting to show. Oh dear. There was me trying to be strong and resist it! Anyway. Yes. This post. It was meant to tell you that, simply put, I watched Sin City this evening. Five words: I don't understand it.
Chris and I just got chased off campus by security. We were trying to get a beer trophy of a traffic cone and a road work sign. The security guy saw us and walked after us. So we ran behing Faraday buildling. He came roudn the other side and tried to catch us so we doubled back.
We got caught in a dead end behind Lanchester building. We saw his torch so ditched our trophies. As we walked past him we said "Evening sir, lovely weather isn't it?!" as he said into his walkie talkie "The gentlemen are leaving campus, just walking up the ramp next to Lanchester... Over."
Luckily as we pegged it off campus before being caught, we found ANOTHER traffic cone and pinched that one.
Chris&Matt 1 - CampusSecurity 0
In hindsight, posting this here attributes the attempted theft to me name. So, if security want's to get in touch then I'll move the items from where we ditched them back to their original locations: theif (at) kloopy (dot) com
But watch out.... It's black uniforms and balaclavas next week.
Little Richard and I went up to the Union for a couple of games of pool last night. We ended up talking to these 3 first year nurses who were also playing pool (2 female, 1 male).
Whilst we were mid-game this random guy called Mike came up who fancied her. She told us that she didn't like him. So, basically, I said "Mike?! You're name is Mike?!" and we were shocked. So he told me he was a Mike Allen. I asked if he was bullshitting because that was also my name. Unfortunately of course, I had left my wallet at home so there was no chance of having ID.
So, yeah. To get this bloke away I told him that I was Mel's bloke. (Just to make things clear, I'd already had a big discussion about Bath with her because she was from round there and my lovely Laura is studying there.) He couldn't quite work out how we weren't holding hands or kissing or flirting or anything. The best bit was just having a normal evening out and getting angry whenever he got close to her or put his arm round her. Then as he stopped I get back to dancing with Little Rich.
Anyhow, yes, Impulse Clubbing. We'd been chatting to these nurses for hours and then it was pub kicking out time. So we went to the Cube. I didn't want to. But the world made me. And we were there until about 01:30. So much for getting work done last night.
This post is far too long for just saying "I went clubbing and met some randoms." so I'll wrap up by pointing out how silly this Mike Allen was... the subject of ID came up again whilst in the Cube; You can't get in without a valid student card.
This post really isn't as deep and meaningful as the way I've title it suggests. Anyway, today I was rather spontaneous. I need, as any avid reader will know, to get myself a mortgage. I spoke to an IFA (Independant Financial Advisor) this morning at about 9:30 and was told that it'd be much much easier to talk mortgages if I were able to go into the office.
So I did. I finished getting dressed (I was only in boxers at the time - Yes, I wear boxers not pants.) and left at 10:30 for Hitchin.
Anyway, where was I.... Yes, British Culture. I had a go at housemate Chris last night whilst proof reading a bit of his dissertation. He was saying something crass about the worlds diverse cultures. I think I take that back now. There's so much diversity in the UK alone....
On the train back from London to Southampton, I was sat with 2 other people. There I was with my McDonalds, can of Fosters and laughing out loud frequently to the book "Are you Dave Gorman?". Opposite me, getting progressively more angry with my school girl giggling, was a well dressed mid-20s bloke with an apple and orange, reading the National Geographic. And to my left, annoying the both of us was a woman nattering in a whiny londer accent to her mates on the phone whilst reading the latest issue of some random women's magazine.
You couldn't have put three more different people together from the entire carriage. Although, perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the three of us were the only non-suited non-business (wo)men.
Just a quick note to say that I spoke with my boss this evening about post-Uni salary and starting full time work. I've been working for them for 4 years now during the holidays and can't wait to start full time. It's going to be really exciting.
Anyway, my salary is agreed and it confirms that I can afford the flat I've bought and will have some money to live on. It doesn't look like I'll have to cut out all the beer. It looks like I can afford at least a pint a week, which brought a huge smile to my face.
Anyway, as he said... now that I'm on the official payroll, he can sack me easily. Thus, I should get on and do the updates to our AOL servers as I promised.
I don't know whether I mentioned before, but I viewed 7 properties in one day a couple of weeks back. The reason for doing it all in one go was that I didn't think I'd be back in Hitchin again until after my exams.
However, Erin got back from her 2 year 2 months travelling. It was amazing to see her again and I had forgotten how fun she was. It was great that she had so much to tell us about her time away and she enjoyed telling us. Despite our reunion at the pub being quite brief, it was great!
But yeah, that was on the Saturday night. I was staying at Lauras this weekend (yay!) and was looking through the local paper The Advertiser for cinema times. I happened across one of the house adverts for a flat in Queens Street, Hitchin. I had originally wanted to view this place as an 8th potential flat two weeks previous.
So as we didn't have too much to do until the evening, I decided to call up Country Properties and ask if they could setup a viewing for me that day. I viewed the property at 2:30pm, made an offer about about 3:30pm and had it accepted at 4:15pm.
I went back on the Sunday armed with Laura's camera. The photos will be online soon. But it's a lovely place. The freeholders have painted throughout, replaced all the lighting and refitted the kitchen. It's a wonderful flat.
Anyway, I just wanted to say how good a mood I'm in. I got to see Erin after 2 years, agreed on a sale of a lovely flat and most importantly got to spend the weekend with my absolutely wonderful Laura!
I've had a good solid day of 3rd year project today and I've made a load of progress. But for the past hour I've been totally stuck.
I'm programming PIC chips and was using indirect addressing along with rotating a bit around a byte to send my arbitrary length message over RF bit by bit. (How many people have I confused there?!)
Using indirect addressing, I have to tell the chip which address in memory is the first to send. To do this I was using a constant that I named OUTBOX. This constant was hex '40'.
Rather than placing this constant into the indirect address pointer, I was placing the value at memory hex '40'. Which was causing some WILD behaviour.
Anyway, if I've ever wanted to hug a bloke before it's not more than housemate Rich just now. I've slaved away over the PIC coding all day. He comes downstairs to help me and has understood the code straight away and finds the fault in about 3 minutes. He's a god!
It's a wild ride, this whole house buying thing. I was getting quite excited about this flat I spoke about in my last entry...
The majority of mortgage providers are unhappy giving mortgages on leasehold properties where the remaining term on the lease is less than the mortgage term + 30 years. I'm looking to get a 25 year mortgage, so that puts my lease threashold at about 55 years.
The remaining lease on this flat I'm interested in is 59 years, so I could get money for it no problem. But when I then come to sell the property, I'll have a lot of problems doing so (because any new buyers won't be able to get a mortgage on the place).
It would cost about £8,000 to £10,000 to renew the lease on this flat back up to 99 years. And I'd have to do that before I wanted to sell on. Thus, I put in an offer of £107,500 (asking price £114,995). I was told (after a night waiting whilst she thought about it) that this wasn't quite enough. So I went back with a revised offer of £110,000. Again she said it was just a little too low. With the risk of having to renew the lease, I wasn't going to go above £110,500.
Eventually she got back to me, through the agent, and was adamant that she wans't going to take less than £113,000. This was mid last week. I spoke to the agent yesterday and the vendor has not had any more viewings and there has been little interest in the flat.
So at the moment, it's off. And there's nowhere else that's a suitable price in a suitable location. So my house hunting is on the back burner at the moment. But who knows, when she realises that she won't be able to sell her flat at £113,000 she'll come back to me.
It's great, the day after I turn 21, I went flat hunting. I viewed 7 properties in total. It's so exciting going round flats looking to buy. A few of the places I saw were simply unsuitable... bad location or too small, etc. But two really stood out. (Just off the Hitchin end of Stevenage road and Just off Club 85 end of Winbush road for those who know Hitchin).
I've put in an offer on the former. It's a homely 1 bedroom ground floor flat. It's got a lovely lovely fitted kitchen, bright and spacious. The lounge is big enough for a dining room table probably along with sofa and chairs. The bedroom is good size with inbuilt deep wardrobes. Both the bedroom and lounge are south facing, so I'll get the sun shining in to keep me happy on my lonely days there! There is a communial garden with HUGE amounts of space. The ground rent and services charges are below average too!
So I placed an offer on the place. And I'm waiting to hear back this morning! It's scarey. I've already had three phone calls this morning. I've got all adrenlined up and nervous each time! None of them have been the estate agent! :/
More news to come.
Happy Birthday to me! I've lived 21 years as of today and I've not killed myself. I think if nothing else, that's an excuse to celebrate!
So. The tenth of April... I'll never be able to make a post when I'm 20 years old ever again. But that's not a problem at all. I start the 21st year of my life tomorrow and things are looking great for a fantastic year.
I'm just 3 months away from completing my 16 year long career in education. It'll be a tough time finishing my 3rd year project and revising for exams, but the end is in sight and that's exciting. No more "be taught" -> "revise" -> "exam" loop!
When I finish, I know I've got a job secured. I've been working there for years and I'm very happy with my job and the people I work with. My bosses have been fantastic to me with their support over my 3 years at Uni and I'm anticipating a very satisfying position in my full-time place there.
As the job is where my parents used to live before I went to Uni, I'm having to move back to Hitchin. So in a few months I shall be a home owner. I can't wait to kit the flat out and decorate each room to exactly how I want! It's such an exciting time, house hunting.
I also start this year with a girlfriend whom I'm rather greatly fond of. I've spent the past week with Laura and I've had so much fun. She's not only gorgeous with her cute smile and loving cuddles, but probably more importantly her personality is marvellous. She's kind, thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent and funny. But it's also the small things that all add up. She makes the bed every morning(!), she's always attentive in conversation, her short term memory is outstanding... I'll stop before I risk sounding too cheesy, but needless to say, I adore her! :)
I'm sure there are other long-term issues that're going well at the moment, but I can't think of any worth mentioning right now. House, job and girlfriend seems to cover it all. So, it's with a great big smile of anticipation that I enter the 22nd year of my life.
I've never blogged from an airport before. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to do so. I'm talking to you from London Heathrow's Terminal 1 International Arrivals hall. I'm awaiting Laura from flight BA282 from Los Angeles. It's due at 12:00 but was expected 6 minutes late last I looked. (I've sat in the most inconvienient point for looking at the arrivals screens.)
Also, there are no comfy chairs. I'm sat on the rock solid marble floor... I've been here for 10 minutes and already my bum is starting to hurt! :P
Getting here was nice... I was at the station before 9 and just wasn't awake. I got confused when he asked for £21 for the ticket, not realising I hadn't given him my Young Persons Railcard. And then I threw my credit card over the counter at him by accident. I apologised that I wasn't awake and that I would be soon. His reply made me smile all morning... "That's what worries me."
Then on the Virgin train, the guard asked me whether I knew the location of RailAir at the station (the coach from Reading to Heathrow) and he explained exactly where I needed to go.
Everyones been so cheerful and helpful today. It's wonderful. Oh, and to top it off I just bought a meal deal lunch (just like Boots do them) for £2.69. For an international airport in the UK I think that's quite an achievement!